Diastasis Recti


Do you have a big belly you just can't get rid of?

You’ve tried all sorts of diets and exercises, but there seems to be no result? This could be caused by diastasis recti. If you have back pain, bloating after eating, and poor posture. If you have an outie belly button or you have had a beer belly for a long period of time. These could all be related to diastasis recti.

What is Diastasis Recti?

The word diastasis means separation. The recti muscles are the outermost abdominal muscles. The function of these muscles (called rectus abdominis) is to support your back and your organs, but with diastasis, you are experiencing the separation of the outermost abdominal muscles.

Why should you care if your muscles are separated?

In order to have a strong core, your abdominal muscles need to be close together. A strong core is needed to support your upper and lower body as well as your back and organs. Separated muscles cannot provide support. The more separated your muscles, the less support they provide for your body and the more negative effects your body will experience as a result. When the muscles separate, the connective tissue (linea alba) joining these muscles stretch sideways. This sideway stretching of the connective tissue causes it to become thinner and weaker, reducing your connective tissue to a weak, almost saran wrap like structure. With this acting as the connective tissue for your muscles, your body cannot be effectively supported.

Who can get a diastasis?

Pretty much anyone! Any woman (baby or no baby), man or child are at risk of experiencing diastasis. Many people have diastasis recti and are simply unaware as checking for a diastasis is not a component of any medical or fitness evaluation.

Do all pregnant women get a diastasis?

Only a small percentage of women do NOT have or get a diastasis during pregnancy. Women that do the Tupler Technique® early in pregnancy that don’t have a diastasis going into their pregnancy can prevent themselves from getting one.

What causes a diastasis?

A diastasis is caused by continuous stretching of the connective tissue that joins the outermost muscles, in both a forward and sideways direction. This stretching is caused by pregnancy, weight gain in the abdominal area, abdominal surgery where they fill the abdominal cavity with air, exercises like crunches and Pilates 100, activities where you arch your back and flare your ribs (gymnastics, yoga, swimming) and crossover activities like tennis and golf.

Effects of diastasis recti on the body

With the muscles not supporting the back and organs, the side effects of diastasis recti are back pain, abdominal hernias, poor posture, pelvic floor problems, gastro- intestinal disturbances like constipation and bloating after eating. A severe diastasis can put a pregnant woman at risk for a C-section and a patient having abdominal surgery at risk for an incisional hernia.

Checking for a Diastasis

Professionals and the general public usually check for diastasis incorrectly. When checked incorrectly, they usually undermine the size of the diastasis, resulting in neglecting the condition. An ignored diastasis will continue to get larger with the continued straining of the abdominal region with activities of daily living as well improper exercise.

Treatment for Diastasis Recti

The Tupler Technique ® program closes your diastasis by healing the connective tissue. Healing the connective tissue means making it strong enough to hold the muscles together by utilizing a unique position. Healing connective tissue with the Tupler Technique ® is three things. 1) repositioning the stretched out connective tissue and the separated muscles. This means putting the connective tissue in a narrow position and bringing the muscles closer with the Diastasis Rehab Splint® 4) protecting the connective tissue from getting stretched either in a forwards or sideways direction 4) strengthening the transverse muscle and connective tissue with the Tupler Technique® exercises. The research and evidenced based Tupler Technique ® Program is 4 steps and progresses over 18 weeks.

Is Wearing Diastasis Recti Splint Enough to Close a Diastasis?

Wearing a diastasis recti splint is NOT enough to close your diastasis because the sole purpose of wearing the splint is to reposition the muscles and connective tissue. Wearing a splint does not strengthen the muscles and connective tissue. You must do the diastasis recti exercise program to do that. Wearing the splint does not protect the connective tissue from getting stretched. You need to develop transverse muscle awareness with activities of daily living and while working out.